In The Case Of Hotels You Can’t Judge A Book By Its Cover: Over the years I have done a great deal of travelling for both business and pleasure and stayed in hundreds of hotels. I have had every kind of experience from totally amazing to completely disastrous and if there is one thing that I have learned it is that all is rarely as it seems with hotels. Clever marketing and deceptive photographs can make anywhere look good but the reality is often very different. At the same time there are little gems waiting to be discovered if only you can find them.
A high price tag is no guarantee of quality that is for sure. I once stayed in a very opulent 5 star establishment on the banks of the Grand Canal in Venice. This hotel had a location to die for, beautiful décor and great food. Unfortunately it also had terrible service and incompetent admin which left me without drinks with my breakfast, an incorrect bill for my stay and an encounter with a very rude manager.
I departed wishing earnestly that I had stayed somewhere else. My problems there were mild compared to the stay I had at Loch Lomond for a friend’s wedding. The hotel was beautifully situated on the banks of the Loch and was really quite pricey. On arrival I discovered that the rooms were tiny and the bathroom so small that they had adapted the door in order to squeeze in a toilet.
The service was poor and then I was kept awake all night by a wedding party which was so loud that the cups on the table in my room were vibrating. They also chose to serve the midnight buffet opposite my room and so there were lots of people shouting and screaming outside of my door! Another complete waste of money which prompted me to leave an unpleasant review on TripAdvisor, a site I wish my partner had consulted before making the booking.
Do Your Research
Thankfully these days we do have TripAdvisor and other online resources which provide reviews for hotels and I find that these generally give you a good picture of what to expect. I do not now book anything without consulting the available ratings and this practice has saved me a fortune as it is normally possible to find a great hotel with a small price tag.
I recently stayed in a quite brilliant hotel in California which was far from being the hotel with the highest star rating but which had fantastic reviews. This hotel was ideally located, had lovely rooms, great service and some useful extras like a launderette. It was very cheap and I could not fault it.
I am reminded of a stay I once had in Pembrokeshire. I was in the area on business and due to a miserly expenses account I was in the habit of booking the cheapest accommodation whatever it was like. I had left it a little late to look for a hotel and had not booked in advance or done any research because I had not known exactly where I was going to be.
Feeling tired I spotted a sign for a hotel and decided that if they could offer me a room for a price my budget allowed I would stay there. It has to be said that this was an ugly building which turned out to be converted squash courts and so I was not expecting much from the place.
I agreed on a price and was shown to my ludicrously cheap room and could not believe my eyes when I opened the door. The room was huge and beautifully furnished in solid oak, had a flat screen TV, a gorgeous bathroom and a fantastically comfortable bed. The next morning I was treated to an excellent breakfast and on commenting on my room, a tour of the hotel. The tour revealed that all of the rooms were incredible. This hotel looked awful from the outside but was one of the best I have ever stayed in.
Successful Trips and Saving Money
Before you book anything check out what the previous guests have had to say. There will always be people who will moan about anything and others who have had an atypical experience but you will usually be able to find the little gems and save yourself a fortune. Why stay in a five star hotel with a five star price when there is a better hotel around the corner for much less money?
Sally Stacey is a keen traveller and blogger happy to share her experiences both good and bad! She is currently writing for National Furniture and wishes more of their products had featured in the hotels she has visited! Share your view on “In The Case Of Hotels You Can’t Judge A Book By Its Cover” in the comment section below.